The city was a dream we created and told one another. We made its streets and buildings, filling it all with a population on the move from here to there and back again.
We grew too used to the silence in the Hollow Years. The silence of the brooding remains haunted our every day. The old city fell in ruins around us as we walked the streets where the weeds were breaking through.
First, the birds, then the urban wild animals and the feral pets took over what humanity left behind. At night, then increasingly through the days, the buildings echoed with the calls and the cries of those other animals taking over what humanity lost and left.
Those of us who remained, though, still felt an attachment to the times before the Hollow Years. Those of us who still remembered knew we had to act before the city was lost to the generations to come. The people who would rebuild all we had squandered in our foolishness.
So, we began to dream the city again. At night, we would gather around our fires out in what had once been a pleasant university suburb and we began to rebuild the city from our memories.
We started slow, rebuilding and repopulating each street a night at a time. We had to find some way of bringing the memories back. We began remembering the shapes of cars, the feel of the technology, the colours and shapes of the fashions and the smell of a city thriving on its people, traffic, industry and all its diverse foods. We remembered the smell of petrol, of curry, of herbs and sweat, perfume and spices. We brought back the smell of the dry dusty heat of summer and the musty dampness of autumn and the sharp cold chill of frosty winter.
Then, after we’d remembered everything of the city and poured it into our dreams, we then poured those dreams back over the remains of the city.
We knew then, at last, it was time for us to all to go back home.